An armed man accused of posing as a federal marshal at an event attended by Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was charged with misdemeanors, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.
According to the office of the city attorney, he is charged with carrying a loaded firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, and impersonating an officer, all misdemeanors.
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office told The Epoch Times that “none of [Mr. Aispuro’s] conduct violated felony statutes,” which is why after review, the case was referred to the city attorney’s office.
At the time of the arrest, Mr. Kennedy was scheduled to speak at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, at 4401 W. 8th St. in Los Angeles, to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. The event ran from 4 to 8 p.m.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), a call was received at 4:30 p.m. reporting a male in front of the event venue with “a badge on [his] lapel, a gun, and a shoulder holster," who "claimed to be a U.S. Marshal,” a spokesperson told The Epoch Times. Mr. Aispuro was arrested at 4:40 p.m. by officers from the LAPD’s Wilshire Division station, with the FBI on the scene.
Police said Mr. Aispuro claimed to be employed for the event but wasn’t recognized by Mr. Kennedy’s security team. In photos provided to The Epoch Times, he can be seen being held by police officers in handcuffs with the letters "EMS" on the back of his shirt.
In 1968, Mr. Kennedy’s father, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was assassinated during his presidential campaign at a hotel on Wilshire Boulevard in present-day Koreatown, less than two miles from the Sept. 15 event.
On social media, Mr. Kennedy thanked police and his security team for their prompt response in handling the situation and ensuring his safety.
"I’m very grateful that alert and fast-acting protectors from [security company] Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA) spotted and detained an armed man," he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. "The man, wearing two shoulder holsters with loaded pistols and spare ammunition magazines was carrying a U.S. Marshal badge on a lanyard and beltclip federal ID. He identified himself as a member of my security detail.
“Armed GDBA team members moved quickly to isolate and detain the man until LAPD arrived to make the arrest. I’m also grateful to LAPD for its rapid response.”
Requests for ProtectionIn July, Mr. Kennedy said his request for Secret Service protection as a presidential candidate was denied by the Department of Homeland Security.
"Since the assassination of my father in 1968, candidates for president are provided Secret Service protection," Mr. Kennedy wrote on X. "But not me."
According to U.S. law under "18 USC 3056A," the U.S. Secret Service is tasked to provide protection to "major presidential and vice presidential candidates and, within 120 days of the general Presidential election, the spouses of such candidates."
The secretary of the Department for Homeland Security (DHS), currently Alejandro Mayorkas, is tasked with identifying "major" candidates in a presidential race in consultation with the speaker of the House, the House minority leader, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and one additional member selected by the other members of the committee, which as a whole isn't answerable to the incumbent president.
DHS has yet to comment on its decision.
Mr. Kennedy called for the Biden administration to provide protection again in early August, after one of Ecuador's presidential candidates, Fernando Villavicencio—who vowed to fight corruption in the country—was assassinated.
After Mr. Kennedy's father was assassinated, the U.S. Secret Service expanded its protection coverage to presidential and vice presidential candidates, according to its website.
Following the Sept. 15 incident, Mr. Kennedy wrote on X, "I'm still entertaining a hope that President Biden will allow me Secret Service protection."